Today, for World Environment Day, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat Climate Change spokesperson, is tabling a Bill to give local authorities more powers to issue fines to idling vehicles.
"For far too long this Conservative Government has failed to take air pollution seriously. They have lost numerous court cases over their inability to tackle the toxic fumes that Britain breathes every day.”
“Here in Bath we are acutely aware of this. Our World Heritage city has become notorious for its air pollution. Local volunteer group Idling Action Bath came together last year and has been encouraging drivers to change their behaviour and switch off their engines by educating them about the harmful impact of idling vehicles.
"This is a major crisis. Emissions from vehicles are responsible for numerous health problems, from the obvious ones like asthma and lung disease. They can contribute to diabetes, dementia and heart disease. Young people are especially vulnerable. Research shows that 800,000 people die every year across Europe. Yet the Government does nothing."
"The legislation that I have tabled is crucial step in tackling our air pollution crisis. It will let all local authorities to clamp down on idling without the need to apply to the Government first, and it will enable them to increase fines for repeat offences."
"We must do more to tackle the climate emergency. This Government, so distracted by the Brexit mess of its own making, is failing to tackle the air pollution crisis. Tories must stop wilfully ignoring the problem and back my Bill."
Sarah Warren, Lib Dem Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, said: “Bath and North East Somerset Council welcomes this bill, which would add a useful tool to the armoury available to local authorities like ours. We are determined to reduce air pollution, and will be holding our own Clean Air Day on 20th June, when residents are encouraged to think about what actions they could take to reduce emissions of pollutants from their own vehicles.”
For information on local volunteer group Idling Action Bath visit https://www.idlingactionbath.org/